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what to do with eggplant?

j
jamieeats Apr 24, 2011 07:11 AM

my boyfriend bought an eggplant yesterday, and i have no idea what to do with it. i don't like to use olive oil or butter to cook vegetables, and would prefer not to do an eggplant parmesan or lasagna. any ideas?

  1. m
    magiesmom Apr 24, 2011 07:30 AM

    I like eggplant cooked whole on the grill or in the oven , scooped out . You can then put in FP with onions garlic, lemon juice, olive oil if you wish and parsley , pulse together and eat at room temp. or you can make baba ganouj.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom
      i
      Isolda Apr 24, 2011 07:38 AM

      Exactly what I was going to suggest. It's delicious and healthy. You do need the oilive oil (just a bit) because it actually adds a nice flavor. Also, after roasting, I scoop mine out into a collander, then mash with a potato masher to get rid of any bitterness, just letting the juices and some of the seeds run right into the sink. Then you put it in the fp with the other ingredients.

    2. Bada Bing Apr 24, 2011 07:40 AM

      One of my first thoughts is that he should cook the thing himself! But on a less testy note: I second magiesmom on the grilling suggestion (although that would involve brushing it with some oil).

      Also baba ghanoush, a Middle East preparation used like a dip or a sauce. Very tasty with pita bread and some meats and/or grilled veggies. Here's a random internet recipe:

      http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/baba-gh...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing
        m
        magiesmom Apr 24, 2011 09:01 AM

        I don't brush with oil for the grill, btw.

        1. re: magiesmom
          Bada Bing Apr 24, 2011 09:23 AM

          Yes. there'd be little point in oil for a whole eggplant, which I now see is what you'd indicated.

          I grill eggplant slices brushed with oil, same as with summer squashes.

        2. re: Bada Bing
          j
          jamieeats Apr 24, 2011 10:00 AM

          haha! he will end up cooking it, but in our house, i'm the "chef" that comes up with ideas/recipes and he ends up being the one to actually cook it. i've been trying to encourage him to eat/buy more vegetables, so anytime he brings one home, i try to embrace it... even though last week that meant 4 heads of endive!

        3. a
          AdamD Apr 24, 2011 07:47 AM

          Tough to do eggplant without any oil at all. But you can slice it up and roast the slices in the oven until soft. Serve with a little balsamic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AdamD
            j
            jamieeats Apr 24, 2011 10:02 AM

            i know it's a challenge, all these ideas sound good though!

          2. greygarious Apr 24, 2011 10:11 AM

            There are scores of ideas at www.aubergine.com

            CHOW has a recipe for Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Tomato sauce that I love. The original is meatless but I deeply sear a 4oz package of Citterio 1/4" diced prosciutto and build the sauce in that pot, a total of about 4 quarts. I like to use a mandoline to slice the unpeeled eggplant into long julienne. Then the plain blade to slice the onions and bell pepper into very thin rings. This way, the whole sauce has long strings which make for a heartier texture that makes an almost-vegetarian pasta dish totally satisfying for a meat-eater.

            My other favorite is Stir-Fried Roasted Eggplant from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

            3 Replies
            1. re: greygarious
              herby Apr 27, 2011 02:28 PM

              I clicked on the link and got "retail communications" site - totally irrelevant. What do you get?

              1. re: herby
                chefj Apr 29, 2011 03:50 PM

                same here

                1. re: herby
                  greygarious Apr 30, 2011 01:34 PM

                  Sorry - here's the right link: http://aubergines.org/recipes.php

                  Over 3000 recipes!

              2. Emme Apr 24, 2011 11:35 AM

                Ratatouille! you don't *have* to use olive oil, but a little is nice. or use veggie stock/water. eggplant, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, all chopped up, put in a pot with mashed garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley or basil or thyme or oregano (i usually use a combo of one or two or three...).

                1. e
                  ediblover Apr 24, 2011 03:01 PM

                  My fallback with vegetables I don't know what to do with is to just curry the thing.

                  My favorite thing to do with eggplant is to double bread it (flour, then panko) with a thick cut and put it on a sandwich (or just as the main). It's something of a pain, but gives it that awesome, melted cheese-like texture when bitten into.

                  1. HungryRubia Apr 28, 2011 07:28 AM

                    My favorite way of doing does involve a tiny bit of oil: I slice it in not too thick rounds and then dredge it in a bit of flour seasoned with some salt and pepper. Then I saute it in some caola oil until cooked and golden. I then dust some powdered sugar on it. I got the recipe from Epicurious and although it sounds odd, the flavor combination is very delicious.

                    1. r
                      rjlebed Apr 28, 2011 07:38 AM

                      One of the best ways that I have prepared eggplant is by cutting it into small cubes, sauteeing with onions, spices and then mix with a bit of goat cheese, top with some good bread crumbs and bake. Really yummy!

                      1. k
                        katecm Apr 28, 2011 09:50 AM

                        Slice it, season with salt and pepper, and grill it. Stack the slices when you remove them from the grill and let the heat steam them for a few minutes. While you're at it, grill a whole red pepper, then throw it in a bag to steam it to a roasted red pepper. Dice the eggplant, then toss wit the chopped red pepper, capers, diced red onion and fresh basil, along with some fresh lemon juice and maybe a bit of vinegar. If you want, crumbled feta is awesome in it. Throw in a can of chickpeas to make it a meal.

                        1. s
                          swoll50 Apr 29, 2011 03:47 PM

                          we use it for a caprese. salt/soak em and then lightly fry with breadcrumbs. stack with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and top with a little balsamic vinegar.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: swoll50
                            cbjones1943 Oct 5, 2011 09:18 PM

                            The caprese salad w/eggplant is an excellent idea...I am happy that I read this thread. re: the original post: for what it is worth, I had a delicious eggplant dish @ Curate, a new tapas bar in Asheville NC. I won't detail the dish because it involved (exquisite Spanish) olive oil & frying; however, what I wanted to share was that honey was drizzled over the hot cooked eggplant & that sprinkled w/rosemary...very tasty.

                          2. chefj Apr 29, 2011 03:56 PM

                            WOW!
                            I the OP does not want to use oil or butter. So all these suggestions of frying, sauteing and grilling wont work.
                            Burning the outside and scooping out the innards is a great way to cook it . Silken and smokey.
                            Makes a great Raita with yogurt and spices. Thai Style salad with garlic, lime juice, sugar and chili.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: chefj
                              k
                              katecm May 2, 2011 09:53 AM

                              Of course grilling works! I don't oil it.

                              1. re: katecm
                                chefj May 2, 2011 03:19 PM

                                So it is grill dried.

                            2. j
                              jamieeats Apr 30, 2011 07:30 AM

                              i ended up slicing the eggplant into circles about 1/4 inch high, and topping with tomato slices. i topped mine with salt and pepper, and topped my boyfriend's with parmesan cheese and oregano. baked it for about 15 minutes, and it was pretty good!

                              1. Allegra_K May 3, 2011 12:29 AM

                                My go-to eggplant dish is definitely the 'fish-fragrant eggplant' from Fuschia Dunlop's book, "Land of Plenty". I have converted many an eggplant-hater with this stellar recipe. Heaps of ginger,garlic, chili-bean paste with chinkiang vinegar and sesame oil give it such a great burst of flavour.
                                http://www.publicradio.org/columns/sp...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Allegra_K
                                  tcamp Oct 6, 2011 06:13 AM

                                  I just got around to trying this and WOW, an extremely tasty dish. I am looking forward to reheated leftovers for lunch.

                                2. c
                                  ccelli73 Oct 5, 2011 07:21 PM

                                  Okay, not sure if anyone else posted this, but this is one of my favorites. It's better to have a fryer for this one, but if you don't you can use a skillet. I slice the eggplant in about 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds, salt them to sweat out the toxins, pat with paper towels, dip them in egg, then in bread crumbs. Coat very well with the bread crumbs. Fry in the fryer or skillet, preferably in olive oil till golden brown. This makes a delectable filling for a sandwich, served on toasted whole grain bread, which has become one of accidental favorites. I thought it would be good, so I tried it, and it's awesome! Of course, you can serve the breaded and fried eggplant with a dipping sauce with other appetizers, or with rice and veggies as a delicious substitute for meat.

                                  1. r
                                    RGC1982 Oct 5, 2011 08:19 PM

                                    Ratatouille. The Italian version would be giambotta.

                                    It is a vegetable stew that makes a main dish for a meatless meal, or else a great side dish to a simple roast chicken. Traditional peasant fare, and it used to be very popular on meatless Fridays. One of my favorite dishes as a child.

                                    In about a tablespoon of oil, soften a chopped onion and three or four crushed cloves of garlic. Add cubed eggplant, small zucchini and yellow squash rounds, diced bell pepper, diced parboiled potato and diced tomatoes. Mushrooms and onions can be added, as this dish takes advantage of what you have on hand. I prefer thyme, garlic and oregano, but others like basil flavors. Simmer until soft and season to taste. If the eggplant has a lot of seeds, scoop them out because these can be bitter.

                                    Anne Burrell has a good recipe. Don't be afraid to use canned tomatoes.

                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                    1. j
                                      J.Dish Oct 5, 2011 11:23 PM

                                      Can I ask why you don't like to cook vegetables with oil or butter?

                                      You could make a soup of it, like a ratatouille soup. Roast everything together and puree it, lemon juice and what not to make it thin enough. Season it appropriately, whether pimenton or maybe some mint, whatever suits your fancy.

                                      1. s
                                        sandylc Oct 6, 2011 05:22 PM

                                        I'm with J.Dish - why no oil or butter, if I could inquire?

                                        1. q
                                          Querencia Oct 6, 2011 06:37 PM

                                          Baba Ganooj. Lay some foil on a cookie sheet, pierce the eggplant with a fork,and bake it on the foil-covered pan at 400* until it is tender, maybe 45 minutes. Let it cool. Cut it open and remove the pulp but don't scrape the peeling. To the pulp add a few tablespoons of tahini, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, a brief glup of olive oil, salt, half a medium size onion, and a lot of garlic. Process in Cuisinart until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Gets better after sitting in refrigerator for a day. Serve it ice cold. Pile it on crackers or put a big scoop of it on lettuce and tomatoes.

                                          1. limonay Oct 11, 2011 06:31 AM

                                            I made an eggplant bruschetta/spread with fresh eggplants from the farmer's market. It's definitely a fun way to eat eggplants without having to actually eat it as a side dish or something.

                                            http://fortychestnuts.com/2011/10/10/...

                                            1 globe eggplant, about 1 pound

                                            1 tomato, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped

                                            1/2 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

                                            1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

                                            1/4 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

                                            1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

                                            1 teaspoon lemon juice

                                            1/2 tablespoon olive oil

                                            freshly ground black pepper

                                            1 baguette, cut into 1/2″ thick slices

                                            olive oil, for drizzling

                                            Preheat the oven to 300F.

                                            Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake until very soft and tender when pierced with a knife and the flesh pulls away from the skin, about 1 1/4 hours.

                                            Remove from oven and let cool.

                                            When the eggplant is cool enough, peel it and coarsely chop the flesh.

                                            In a blender or food processor, combine the tomato, onion, garlic and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

                                            Process until smooth.

                                            Add the eggplant, olive, cilantro, lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

                                            Process until smooth.

                                            Just before serving, heat oven to 400F and place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle slices with olive oil.

                                            Bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes.

                                            To serve, spread each toast with about 1 tablespoon of the bruschetta.

                                             
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